His job may be to pump up the jam, make some money, bring in big acts and make some more money, but he takes his subject matter very seriously.
Bassirou Bashir Kante, CEO of SHEIKE BASSIROU Entertainment, is the man who motivated real paramount concerts before the first Ebola outbreak ravished Liberia. We literally heard screams and watched drool roll from the lips of fans from all parts of Liberia as they watched their favorite Liberian and Nigerian stars at his major concert shows.
But Bassirou’s passion for entertainment and the way he takes care of his performers during each show aren’t the only reason(s) he’s so popular. Bassirou, who has promoted entertainment through Royal Gold Plus Entertainment is a success because he backs up his love for Liberia with seriousness and respect.
He has taken on big showbiz names and brought them to Liberia — WizKid, Timayah, J Martins, R2Bees as well as all Liberian musicians — and he has won the hearts of Liberians.
Quite recently, his team SHEIKE BASSIROU ENTERTAINMENT was awarded a compliment by the UN General of the Nigerian Defense Section, United Nation Peace keeper Nuhu E. Angbazo, because of his planned Mali Unification concert set to jump off April 9, 2016 in Bamako, Mali.
“When I say God is good am talking about God being really good. Our work and upcoming Concert in Mali is now recognized as a peace keeping mission through entertainment and unity among West African States,” Bassirou shared via FaceBook.
LIB Life finally caught up with Bassirou to find out more about the Mali concert and his entertainment movement.
LIB Life: We feel honored to talk to you. Tell Liberia a bit about who Bassirou is.
Bassirou: I grew up in the US where I lived all my life and worked, and moved back to Liberia in 2009 to invest in the import and export industry as well as the Liberian gold and diamond sector. In 2011, I chose to do entertainment for the love of music, and just because I saw how the Nigerian music industry was growing very fast and I though it wise to get involved.
LIB Life: Sounds good. We noticed that you were involved in a lot of concerts and bringing light to our industry. What happened with that?
Bassirou: Unfortunately throughout the years of 2011-2014, just before Ebola, I invested substantially in the entertainment industry by bringing in international artists and working with Liberian artists and so on. I lost a lot of money up until the end of Ebola and decided it’s about time to go back to the US and start over. I went back to the Us during the Ebola outbreak. After Ebola, I thought the Liberian industry, most especially the entertainment sector, did not pay off, like they do on an international level, locally or internationally.
LIB Life: Now you are back and bigger than ever. Why, after losing so much?
Bassirou: When we have a concert in Liberia, as big as possible, using the stadium or whatever, you have people who are corrupt by jumping the fence and not knowing that you spent a lot of money to put these events together. They duplicate tickets and so on. After the Wiz Kid and Timaya concert, I was broke. The concert cost me about $187,000.00 USD and after the concert was over, I was in the hole for about $200,000. I used all of the company money to pay for hotels, paying artist locally and internationally, air tickets and stuff like that. It was very devastating; but as God would have it, I was able to sort people out. It killed the dream for awhile, but then coming to the US, sitting and thinking it over, I thought let’s do it differently. Let’s take Liberia to the world, instead of taking the world to Liberia. Let them show that we are the best.
LIB Life: Tell us about the concert.
Bassirou: There are a list of people that are coming to this concert that I am actually sponsoring single handedly — to God be the glory most especially. We have Flavor from Nigeria who’s the best in the industry, J martins and M2kay from Nigeria. F Dot A Dot, a Liberian based in Nigeria, DJ Blue, DJ Kess from Ghana, four to five Malian artists living in Paris, Tal B, Gaspi, and we have this kid from Liberia, Tomah S. Floyd. These are just some of the names on the list that will be in Mali. We’re going places. Hopefully by the end of this event, we can have Liberia at a whole different level. There’s going to be a lot of Liberian artists that will perform there, showcasing them on that platform to make sure that Liberian persons are recognized and seen in concert.
LIB Life: Why did you decide to have this concert? I mean Mali has been cut off from the world for a minute. What will this do for Liberia?
Bassirou: This is a tough question; just trying to do something different. It goes back to loving music. I’m a Liberian and have resources in Mali from my grandparents. Though I lost so much money in entertainment, I still have love for the game. I thought to try another country but not forgetting Liberia this time around. The Mali Unification Concert is not the only concert. This is the first concert of the 11 country tour that we have planned. Mali is just the introduction. When we find investors to open with SHEIKE BASSIROU ENTERTAINMEMENT, that will lead our concert to other countries around the continent of
Africa. Making sure to take African entertainment, including Liberian entertainers, to global attention.
LIB Life: Will the Liberian entertainers receive just as much attention as the Nigerian artist?
Bassirou: J Martins and Flavor are flying business class and you can rest assured my Liberians will be flying business class also; hotel suites and stuff like that — equal treatment. I’ve been in Liberia, so my record can show. I remember when I did the J Martins show in Liberia, the local artists all stayed in hotel suites. People asked why did I do that, because these guys usually stay at their houses and homes before coming to a show. I said no, I need them to be treated equally. This is just me being me. I just pray that the Liberian government sees this and tries to support these guys so they can be able to succeed in the entertainment industry. Look at culture and tourism, these are some of the things they need to put in order for these guys who are trying to be entertainers or whatever sector they want to be in Liberia, let the culture and tourism ministry stand by them and uplift them. Pretty soon we can be
just like Nigeria. We are a small country and have the resources to do these things.
LIB Life: Why F Dot A Dot and what other countries do you plan to take him?
Bassirou: He wasn’t selected [just] because he was in Nigeria at the time. He would have been selected if he was in any part of the world. I was going to make sure that he’s listed on this concert, one of the reasons being because he’s really good. This is a guy who has been trying with his own strength and power to make a name for himself. Just by him going to Nigeria to chase that dream touched me. Having known that I had to put Liberians in this concert, first thing that came to my mind was, ‘We need to get F.A. He signed the contract and disclosed payment, and he’s going to make Liberia proud — most especially me. They ask why F.A. Just wait and see. And if you still want the answer, come April 9th. He is Liberia’s pride. This 11 country tour is going to go on as long as God will have it. This year we have Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone. Don’t get me wrong; we have Liberia, but we don’t know when. We also have eastern Africa and some cities in the US coming up.